Got titles?


According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary the word untitled is obsolete, having no title or right to rule.  Why are titles of an artwork a big deal?  Will the title to my artwork result in world peace?  These are questions artists ask often.  Well, I bet artists can find answers and the meaning of life on the internet.

This topic only appears in this blog because artists ask frequently about how to title their artwork.  My usual response is that it’s your artwork therefore you have to decide what works best.  The practice of art is personal therefore the one size fit all approach doesn’t work.

However, I decided to search on Google and type in: titling artwork.   What pops up at the top of the search engine to my amaze and delight?  wikiHow’s  How to Title Your Work of Art: 7 steps.  Not convinced that a 7-step program to finding your authentic self is the cure all for artistic titling bliss, I decided to take a look.

The wikiHow first step is to look at your artwork.  Really?  For me, a painting can take as long as 2 ½ years and I’ve spent plenty of time looking at it.  Now wikiHow wants me to gaze deeply into the eyes of the painting.  Ok, did that… now what?   The second step is to find out the key words.  Ok, but I’m a nonfigurative artist and don’t have flowers like in your example of Claude Monet’s painting.  Please wikiHow give me some direction…

The third step is to narrow it down once you’re happy with the amount of descriptions you’ve put on your list.  Some descriptions for my abstract painting could be layers, oil paint, color, and texture.

The fourth step is to pretend that you’re the viewer of the piece, not the creator of itwikiHow suggests that I find out what I like most of the piece.  Ok, I’m trying but it’s hard not to pretend that I created it!

The fifth step is to figure out what type of image you want to convey, even before the person looks at it.  What?  Ok, with my experience you can’t predict the reactions from viewers.  I’ve had solo shows where people tell me different perspectives about the same piece.  I believe that it’s good to promote intelligent and interesting debate about art.  Therefore, I don’t have or want any preconceived notions on how people think!

The sixth step is now remember your language class.  wikiHow suggests that titles with alliteration and anything that rolls off the tongue works best.  At this point, I’m holding in my laughter because this reminds me of the tongue twisters I learned in Elementary school.  For example:  How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

The final step is you’ve done it!  Well, not really…

I’ll stick to JBP.4.11.12436

The links:

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